Why is it so important to have effective control in public administration? How can it be achieved and what can good Controlling contribute towards implementing management by objectives?
Leading representatives from politics, public administration, and science sought answers to these and other questions during talks held at the German Central Bank (Deutschen Bundesbank) in Berlin on 29th September. The discussions were moderated by Professor Jürgen Weber.
Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, appealed to political decision-makers and managers in public administration to speak up for management by objectives and to do all they can to make working in public administration as transparent, flexible and results-oriented as possible.
Central Bank President, Dr. Jens Weidmann, and Federal Employment Agency Head, Frank-Jürgen Weise, reported on how they had developed management by objectives and successfully introduced it into their institutions.
Frank-Jürgen Weise stressed that complete transparency in operating results and a strong Controlling organization – one that has the full backing of management – were decisive for the positive outcome obtained at the Federal Employment Agency.
Dr. Jens Weidmann sees no other alternative to management by objectives in the field of public administration. “If we want our institutions to hold their own in future, we have no choice but to follow this path,” he emphasized. He stressed the importance of effective Controlling and operational planning for strategy implementation, among others, as key to the success of management control.
Jens Bullerjahn, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, pointed out the potential of a goal-oriented control for improving the transparency of public administration activities. This, he added, is also a crucial prerequisite of effective Controlling.
The top-level meeting was organized by the working group “Management and Control in Public Institutions” (Steuerung und Controlling in öffentlichen Institutionen), a group of high-ranking representatives from 17 federal and regional authorities. The working group is led academically by Professor Bernhard Hirsch (UniBw) and Professor Jürgen Weber (WHU). Started in 2010, the working group has set itself the objective of advancing the development of management and Controlling in the public sector.
One of the main results that has emerged from this long collaboration is the development of a ‘change concept’ which was presented by Profess Hirsch at the meeting. It is a blueprint that captures the know-how and experiences of all 17 federal and regional authorities and is intended to show authorities how management by objectives can be feasibly implemented in practice.
Around 90 senior representatives from federal, state and local authorities attended the conference and they gained valuable insights that can be used to modernize public administration.